Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Clearing the Air with a Poem

     Every poem has a climate -- a collection of emotional tones that overlay and underlay its words. Today -- as the U.N. meets in NY to discuss the future climate of our planet -- I have been looking for mathy poems with a climate of advocacy, verses that let the world know that we must, soon and vigorously, take action to keep our earth habitable.
      One of the things I found is a poem (involving a couple of numbers and mathy words) by Simon Armitage that is printed on material that cleanses the air around it by absorbing pollutants.  A small photo from the website of Sheffield University is shown below -- and I urge you to follow the Sheffield link for the story of the poem and this link to see the full poem more clearly and the story behind it.  Here is Armitage's opening stanza. 

       I write in praise of air.  I was six or five
       when a conjurer opened my knotted fist
       and I held in my palm the whole of the sky.
       I’ve carried it with me ever since.
          . . .

Poetry poster sucks up smog!

     The poetry-poster-project  "In Praise of Air" was inspired by Sheffield University’s ongoing ambitions to bring an altruistic technology to people enabling them to clean-up air pollution as they walk around. The giant banner on which the poem is printed has been manufactured using revolutionary nano-technology. It is coated with a photocatalyst which eats pollution, enabling the poem to clean the air around it as it sits in place, overlooking a busy highway.  The poem poster absorbs the pollution from 20 cars every day.

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